Message From The Author

Author's Message

The Bodyguard

If you've read After the Kiss, you've already met the hero of The Bodyguard, Alex Wharton, Duke of Blackthorne. You know that he spent a year in Scotland, where he had amnesia, and that he was tricked into marriage by a clever Scottish witch who held him captive for 30 days in a dungeon. You also know he arrives home wearing a kilt, wanting a divorce, but happier than he's ever been in his life.

A year ago, I was confident I could easily fill in the blanks Alex left in his story. But Alex and Kitt-Lady Katherine, the new Laird of Clan MacKinnon-had ideas of their own. Alex became Kitt's bodyguard, and I went along for the ride!

The Bodyguard is special because it's my first book set in Scotland and my first book in which a character has amnesia, both of which made writing it a challenge.

I've never been to Scotland, but the thought of Highland mists and heather growing on a hill, tartan plaids and bagpipes, and men in kilts, all make something inside me quiver. I sent friends traveling in Scotland this past summer to the bookstores in Edinburgh to root out research materials, and interviewed a friend whose mother is a genuine Scots lady to make Scotland come alive for me-and for the reader!

Writing a character with amnesia was a lot more difficult than I imagined. Would a man who can't remember who he is act in character with who he was? How much of the hero's day to day experiences should I have him remember? Of course he'd know grass was grass and the sky was the sky, but would he know if he'd ever made love to a woman?

The Bodyguard is the third historical romance in my "Captive Hearts" series, which also includes the bestselling Captive and After the Kiss. The bodyguard also introduces readers to the future mates for those mischievous twins, Regina and Rebecca from After the Kiss. They'll be featured in the next book in the series.

In the following scene from the The Bodyguard, Kitt is visiting the Earl of Carlisle, a potential suitor, whom she hopes to marry in order to save her clan. Alex, jealous and disapproving, has come along as her bodyguard.

"Welcome to my home, Lady Catherine," the Earl of Carlisle said.

Kitt curtsied as the earl bowed. "Thank you, my lord. May I introduce my bodyguard, Alex Wheaton."

Kitt saw the astonishment on the earl's face, turned to discover what had put it there, and saw what the earl must have seen-the power, the grace of movement, the absolute authority in Alex's bearing. And, of course, the antagonism on his face.

"Carlisle," Alex said.

Kitt groaned inwardly at the breach of etiquette. The earl, having the greater consequence, should have spoken first.

She was grateful when the earl took no notice of the insult, but merely nodded and said, "Good day, sir."

Alex gave a cursory, condescending nod in return. As though he were the one with the title and not the earl, Kitt thought with another inward groan.

"Please make yourself comfortable," Carlisle said, gesturing her toward an elegant Grecian couch covered in faded red velvet. "And you, too, sir," he added in a brusque voice.

"I will stand," she heard Alex reply. He crossed with her to the couch and stood behind her, vibrating with hostility.

Fortunately the earl did not seem the least intimidated by Alex's bristling posture. He asked a footman to have tea brought to the drawing room and sat down right beside her on the sofa.

Alex growled like a dog whose bone was being threatened.

Watch for The Bodyguard in bookstores the week of March 9-13. You can write to me

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